VILLUM FONDEN aims to support the advancement of talented postdoc women in international research careers.

Female scientists in university career positions (assistant, associate and full professor) are under-represented. Just one out of seven science and technology professors in Denmark is a woman. The further up the academic career ladder you go, the fewer women you find. The gender imbalance means, first of all, that we miss out on talented women in academia. Secondly, it means less diverse workplaces and research environments.

To increase the number of female scientists Villum International Postdoc programme makes grants to talented women at the transition from PhD to postdoc, where we begin to see large numbers of female scientists leaving science and technology.

Applicants must plan a one or two-year stay abroad, followed by a return to a Danish research institution. Establishing an international perspective and network early on is crucial for a young scientist. It’s beneficial for their careers and for science in general.

Who can apply?
Excellent female scientists who have obtained their PhD in Denmark within the technical and natural sciences.

We announce the programme every year from 2019-2023 with a deadline in October.

Grant amount?
The grant amount which can be applied for is DKK 1-2.5 million. All grant amounts include up to 15% for indirect project costs. VILLUM FONDEN will offer additional living expenses to grantees at their stay abroad. E.g. day care or support for spouses. A total of DKK 15 million has been allocated for the programme in 2019/2020.

Time frame
The time frame is three to four years, including a one or two-year stay abroad, followed by a return to a Danish research institution of about one year.

Approval of grant
The duration of the process will be approx. three months from application to grant.

The application process

Unsolicited applications are not accepted. Applicants must be recommended by their faculty and /or department.

Applications are evaluated on the sole criterion of scientific excellence. Grantees will be selected by the foundation's committee for technical and natural sciences and approved by the board of the foundation.

Latest call

Villum International Postdoc Call 2019

Application deadline was 22 October 2019. We announce the programme every year from 2019-2023 with a deadline in October.

VILLUM FONDEN earmarks research funding for women

Please contact us if you need further information:

Thomas Bjørnholm
Executive Chief Scientific Officer, professor, VILLUM FONDEN
+45 28 75 18 35


Professor Thomas Bjørnholm is responsible for the foundation’s research programmes in technical and natural sciences.
Previously Thomas Bjørnholm was Prorector for Research and Innovation and Deputy Rector at the University of Copenhagen with overall responsibility for research and innovation across all disciplines at the university.

He is a professor of Materials Chemistry and the founding director of the Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen.

Thomas Bjørnholm is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences and he has served on numerous boards and committees.

As a scientist, he has published more than 200 articles in scientific journals and books including contributions to the highly-recognized journals Nature and Science. He has given more than 150 invited talks at conferences and research institutes around the world and received research awards, including the Ole Rømer Foundation Award, the Ellen & Niels Bjerrum Award and gold medal, and the Director Ib Henriksen Award.

See more extensive CV